Top 100 Living Geniuses of 2007

robert the 1.jpgIn my previous post about the Ukrainian artist Ivan Marchuk, it was noted that he was included into the Top 100 Living Geniuses list.  Curious about the list, I checked it out.

Compiled in 2007, the list ranked the greatest living thinkers of our time, no less.

The list was compiled by a panel of six experts in creativity and innovation from Creators Synectics, a global consultants firm.

The company emailed 4,000 Britons in the summer of 2007 asking them to nominate up to 10 living people they considered geniuses. Each nominee was then awarded scores out of ten against criteria which included: paradigm shifting; popular acclaim; intellectual power; achievement and cultural importance.   It comes as no  surprise that proportionately more Brits got nominated than people from other countries.

My understanding is that the 4000 Brits were chosen randomly and do not necessarily have any expertise in evaluating human genius.

Judge for yourself. Here is the 2007 genius list:

1= Albert Hoffman (Swiss) Chemist 27
1= Tim Berners-Lee (British) Computer Scientist 27
3 George Soros (American) Investor & Philanthropist 25
4 Matt Groening (American) Satirist & Animator 24
5= Nelson Mandela (South African) Politician & Diplomat 23
5= Frederick Sanger (British) Chemist 23
7= Dario Fo (Italian) Writer & Dramatist 22
7= Steven Hawking (British) Physicist 22
9= Oscar Niemeyer (Brazilian) Architect 21
9= Philip Glass (American) Composer 21
9= Grigory Perelman (Russian) Mathematician 21
12= Andrew Wiles (British) Mathematician 20
12= Li Hongzhi (Chinese) Spiritual Leader 20
12= Ali Javan (Iranian) Engineer 20
15= Brian Eno (British) Composer 19
15= Damian Hirst  (British) Artist 19
15= Daniel Tammet (British) Savant & Linguist 19
18 Nicholson Baker (American Writer 18
19 Daniel Barenboim (N/A) Musician 17
20= Robert Crumb (American) Artist 16
20= Richard Dawkins (British) Biologist and philosopher 16
20= Larry Page & Sergey Brin (American) Publishers 16
20= Rupert Murdoch (American) Publisher 16
20= Geoffrey Hill (British) Poet 16
25 Garry Kasparov (Russian) Chess Player 15
26= The Dalai Lama (Tibetan) Spiritual Leader 14
26= Steven Spielberg (American) Film maker 14
26= Hiroshi Ishiguro (Japanese) Roboticist 14
26= Robert Edwards (British) Pioneer of IVF treatment 14
26= Seamus Heaney (Irish) Poet 14
31 Harold Pinter (British) Writer & Dramatist 13
32= Flossie Wong-Staal (Chinese) Bio-technologist 12
32= Bobby Fischer (American) Chess Player 12
32= Prince (American) Musician 12
32= Henrik Gorecki (Polish) Composer 12
32= Avram Noam Chomski (American) Philosopher & linguist 12
32= Sebastian Thrun (German) Probabilistic roboticist 12
32= Nima Arkani Hamed (Canadian) Physicist 12
32= Margaret Turnbull (American) Astrobiologist 12
40= Elaine Pagels (American) Historian 11
40= Enrique Ostrea (Philippino) Pediatrics & neonatology 11
40= Gary Becker (American) Economist 11
43= Mohammed Ali (American) Boxer 10
43= Osama Bin Laden  (Saudi) Islamicist 10
43= Bill Gates (American) Businessman 10
43= Philip Roth (American) Writer 10
43= James West (American) Invented the foil electrical microphone 10
43= Tuan Vo-Dinh (Vietnamese) Bio-Medical Scientist 10
49= Brian Wilson (American) Musician 9
49= Stevie Wonder (American) Singer songwriter 9
49= Vint Cerf (American) Computer scientist 9
49= Henry Kissinger (American) Diplomat and politician 9
49= Richard Branson (British) Publicist 9
49= Pardis Sabeti (Iranian) Biological anthropologist 9
49= Jon de Mol (Dutch) Television producer 9
49= Meryl Streep (American) Actress 9
49= Margaret Attwood (Canadian) Writer 9
58= Placido Domingo (Spanish) Singer 8
58= John Lasseter (American) Digital Animator 8
58= Shunpei Yamazaki (Japanese) Computer scientist & physicist 8
58= Jane Goodall (British) Ethologist & Anthropologist 8
58= Kirti Narayan Chaudhuri (Indian) Historian 8
58= John Goto (British) Photographer 8
58= Paul McCartney (British) Musician 8
58= Stephen King (American) Writer 8
58= Leonard Cohen (Canadian) Poet & musician 8
67= Aretha Franklin (American) Musician 7
67= David Bowie (British) Musician 7
67= Emily Oster (American) Economist 7
67= Steve Wozniak (American) Engineer and co-founder of Apple Computers 7
67= Martin Cooper (American) Inventor of the cell phone 7
72= George Lucas (American) Film maker 6
72= Niles Rogers (American) Musician 6
72= Hans Zimmer (German) Composer 6
72= John Williams (American) Composer 6
72= Annette Baier (New Zealander) Philosopher 6
72= Dorothy Rowe (British) Psychologist 6
72= Ivan Marchuk  (Ukrainian) Artist & sculptor 6
72= Robin Escovado (American) Composer 6
72= Mark Dean (American) Inventor & computer scientist 6
72= Rick Rubin (American) Musician & producer 6
72= Stan Lee (American) Publisher 6
83= David Warren (Australian) Engineer 5
83= Jon Fosse (Norwegian) Writer & dramatist
83= Gjertrud Schnackenberg (American) Poet 5
83= Graham Linehan (Irish) Writer & dramatist 5
83= JK Rowling (British) Writer 5
83= Ken Russell (British) Film maker 5
83= Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (Russian) Small arms designer 5
83= Erich Jarvis (American) Neurobiologist 5
91=. Chad Varah (British) Founder of Samaritans 4
91= Nicolas Hayek (Swiss) Businessman and founder of Swatch 4
91= Alastair Hannay (British) Philosopher 4
94= Patricia Bath (American) Ophthalmologist
94= Thomas A. Jackson (American) Aerospace engineer 3
94= Dolly Parton (American) Singer 3
94= Morissey (British) Singer 3
94= Michael Eavis (British) Organiser of Glastonbury 3
94= Ranulph Fiennes (British) Adventurer 3
100=. Quentin Tarantino (American) Filmmaker 2

Honestly, I was slightly disappointed to find Damian Hirst, whose “art” I abhor, pretty high on the list. That is to say nothing about, of all people, Osama bin Laden, categorized as an Islamicist by occupation

I don’t know whether or not The Telegraph attempted to engage Creators Synectics to compile similar lists between 2007 and now, and if yes, then what some randomly chosen 4000 Brits decided.  The world and Brits have changed since.

 

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Michelangelo of Microsoft Excel

www.spoon-tamago.comFor over 15 years, Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi has rendered the subtle details of mountains, cherry blossoms, and dense forests with the most unlikely tool: Microsoft Excel. The 77-year-old illustrator shunned the idea of paying for expensive painting supplies or even a basic drawing program for his computer, saying that he prefers Excel even over Microsoft Paint because it has “more functions and is easier to use.” www.spoon-tamago.com

www.spoon-tamago.comUsing simple vector drawing tools developed primarily for graphs and simple shapes, Horiuchi instead draws panoramic scenes of life in rural Japan.

 

Chained To History

 

Artist imprisoned by ‘weight of history’ freed after 3 weeks (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)A Belgian performance artist, Mikes Poppe, chained to a block of marble for 20 days, became the victim of his own artistic metaphor when he had to be cut loose from the installation.

The eccentric artist created the project to demonstrate that it’s not possible to escape the burden of history.  Indeed, it isn’t. Mikes was unable to chisel himself free of the stone structure as originally intended.

“My performance has different layers of meaning,” he told VRT NWS beforehand. “For me marble is the sculpture, I chain myself to a piece of history, I take art history with me, and at the same time I build on it and let it go again.”

Poppe attached himself to a block of Carrara marble in the courthouse of Ostend, Belgium on November 10. He remained chained to the block 24 hours a day with no phone or computer for outside communication.

Besides working to break himself free, Poppe spent the remainder of his time eating, sleeping and drawing.

Poppe describes himself as an artist-cum-terrorist. He lasted 438 hours attached to the marble block by a 10 feet (about 3 meters) chain. He tried his darnedest to chisel away the stone, to no avail.

Entitled De Profundis, Poppe’s performance was part of a larger exhibition curated by Joanna De Vos. “This is not a failure, but a positive story,” De Vos said. Well, it depends on a point of view, I’d say.

The work, according to the Poppe’s intent, aims to show the life of an artist in a state of terminal loneliness and extreme concentration. Five cameras recorded the artist throughout the entire performance and broadcast online.

 

 

Dada, Surréalisme et au-delà

On 21 October in Paris, Sotheby’s offered for sale the collection of Dr. Arthur Brandt, whose passion and appreciation for Dada and Surrealism is reflected in this auction. Highlights include numerous works by Marcel Duchamp and Kurt Schwitters as well as a major work by Francis Picabia and others by Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, and Max Ernst.

The auction has now ended, with a grand total of €21.5 million.

All right then. Let’s take a look at Dada, Surréalisme et au-delà, particularly at the two out of several works of  Marcel Duchamp. Above is his “L.H.O.O.R”. Quoting Wikipedia:

In 1919, Duchamp made a parody of the Mona Lisa by adorning a cheap reproduction of the painting with a mustache and goatee. To this he added the inscription L.H.O.O.Q., a phonetic game which, when read out loud in French quickly sounds like “Elle a chaud au cul”. This can be translated as “She has a hot ass”, implying that the woman in the painting is in a state of sexual excitement and availability. It may also have been intended as a Freudian joke, referring to Leonardo da Vinci‘s alleged homosexuality. Duchamp gave a “loose” translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as “there is fire down below” in a late interview with Arturo Schwarz. According to Rhonda Roland Shearer, the apparent Mona Lisa reproduction is in fact a copy modeled partly on Duchamp’s own face.[33] Research published by Shearer also speculates that Duchamp himself may have created some of the objects which he claimed to be “found objects”.

On October 21, L.H.O.O.Q fetched a whooping 631,500 euros. Gasp.

Dada artists are known for their use of ready-made objects — everyday objects that could be bought and presented as art with little manipulation by the artist. The use of the ready-made forced questions about artistic creativity and the very definition of art and its purpose in society.

Indeed, L.H.O.O.Q manifests remarkably little manipulation by the artist upon the ready-made object — a cheap print of La Joconde! Just harping.

Boîte-en-valise, yet another Duchamp, is a portable museum containing 68 of his most famous works, either reproduced or miniaturised, has been sold  for €319,500.

Dada was the first conceptual art movement where the focus of the artists was not on crafting aesthetically pleasing objects but on making works that often upended bourgeois sensibilities and that generated difficult questions about society, the role of the artist, and the purpose of art.

And what a remarkably cheap and time-and-effort-consuming method to achieve such a noble goal! Makes me, a skeptic lacking of appreciation for Dadaism, wonder if Dadaists themselves defined their intentions while “crafting their art”.  Numerous art critics say yes and more:

So intent were members of Dada on opposing all norms of bourgeois culture that the group was barely in favor of itself: “Dada is anti-Dada,” they often cried.

The video clip below features the entire Collection Arthur Brandt : Dada, Surréalisme et au-delà, courtesy of Sotheby’s site:

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Meet The Sculptor: Luo Li Rong

Luo Li Rong is a Chinese artist born in 1980 who settled in Belgium. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Beijing. Once she graduated, she joined the studio of Zon Jiabao, which allowed her to refine her figurative style. Luo Li Rong produces realistic sculptures that convey the beauty and grace of the human body. Her life-size creations feature women in motion. They strike elegant poses that elongate their bodies with a seemingly windswept appearance; their hair and clothing look as though they’re being moved by a gentle breeze. This creates a compelling dichotomy; while there is an impressive dedication to realism.
Rong is careful to detail each delicate fold of the skin. There’s also a fantastical element to her work, as her characters reside on clouds and hold raindrops in their hands.Работа художницы и скульптора Луо Ли РонгРабота художницы и скульптора Луо Ли Ронг

The artist, by her own admission, is greatly inspired by Renaissance and Baroque sculpting techniques. The veiled marble sculptures of a renown Italian, Giovanni Strazza (1818-1875), might as well be among the works that influenced this talented young sculptor.

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This statue was executed in flawless Carrera marble by the renowned Italian sculptor Giovanni Strazza (1818-1875) in Rome. 

 

Creative Pyrotechnics in Paris

Thus far, my blog has 2 earlier posts about the antics of the radical political performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, with enticing titles Flaming Testicles and Tastefully Nailed Testicles, both named in reference to Pavlensky’s favorite creative media — his own scrotum. That’s right, Pavlensky gained notoriety for anti-Kremlin stunts including nailing his scrotum to the Red Square cobblestones, as well as slicing off part of his ear and sewing his mouth shut. This isn’t for nothing he is known internationally as the “Russian scrotum artist.”

Pavlensky spent 18 months in pretrial detention after he doused a large wooden door at the FSB headquarters on Moscow’s Lubyanka Square with gasoline and set it on fire in November 2015. He was released in June 2016 and ordered to pay a hefty fine, which he refused to do.

Soon thereafter, in May 2016, France granted Pavlensky and his partner Oksana Shalygina political asylum.Pyotr Pavlenski (right) and his partner, Oksana Shalygina, in Paris in JanuaryThe couple claimed they fled Russia with their two daughters to escape a false sexual assault case against them. Pavlensky and Shalygina, who both advocate for open relationships, dismissed the allegations, claiming that their relationship with an alleged victim was consensual. However, a Moscow actress had accused them of raping her. They maintain that she filed her complaint under the orders of the Russian security services. If found guilty, the couple could be jailed for up to 10 years. Whatever.

Paris welcomed them with open arms, while Russians, particularly law and order authorities, breathed sigh of relieve — brazen provocateurs became a tremendous pain in their collective hinds.

Early Monday morning, Pavlensky, so-called “mind, balls and conscience” of Putin’s Russia, was arrested in Paris after setting fire to the doors of the Bank of France.In a statement made to Divergence Images Pavlensky explained that “bankers have taken the place of the monarchs” and called for a great French revolution. The ‘performance’ caused the bank to shut down on Monday, according to a note attached to the door. Piotr Pavlenski incendie la Banque de France, Place de la Bastille“Igniting the Bank of France shows the truth the authorities forced us to forget. The Bastille was destroyed by rebels as a symbol of despotism and power. There, they built another hotbed of slavery, which betrays the revolutionists and sponsors a bandit Versailles. The Bank of France took over the Bastille, bankers became monarchs,”  Pavlensky reportedly said in a statement, posted by Femen.
 

Meet The Sculptor: Chen Wenling

http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/QQ%E6%88%AA%E5%9B%BE201203222254441.jpgChen Wenling is a contemporary Chinese Neo-Realist artist. His works are surreal, often grotesque sculptures, often executed in bright monochrome colors.

chinese sculpture.PNG His aim is to examine and convey the rapid rise of consumerism in modern-day China.  http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/30_09_2009_0525556001254306014_chen-wenling.jpgHe shot to artistic fame with his Red Memory series (2001-07): more than 100 emaciated figures of naked boys at play, all covered in shiny red car duco.http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/%D0%BC%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%87%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B8.jpgThe artist works mostly in fiberglass, a new technological direction in the art of sculpture. The material is light and relatively cheap.http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/chen-wenling_god-of-materialism1.jpgAmong the recurring characters in Chen’s work are pig-like humanoids and obese demons, all of which the artist deploys to create his biting social satire. Smashed against the wall is infamous “demon”, financier Bernard Madoff:http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/emergency_escape_chen_wenling_008.jpgChen Wenling was born in 1969 in Quanzhou, China, studid at Xiamen Academy of Art. In rapid succession came international critical and commercial success. His work is exhibited both within China (the Guangzhou Art Museum, the Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art) and abroad (Basel, Switzerland). In 1999, Chen won the Venice Biennale’s top prize, the prestigious Golden Lion. He continues to exhibit around the world and lives and works in Beijing, China.

 

Meet The Artist: Ceslovas Cesnakevicius

Ceslovas Cesnakevicius is 30 year old artist from Lithuania. He creates really unusual digital artwork.  His photos are so simple and at the same time so incredibly thought-provoking.

The artist has been careful for a decade to take shoots with the intention to create little surreal worlds. Each one of them, ethereal and fragile, with a story behind.

Cesnakevicius explains that his works are small pieces of his biography. Images which refer to artists like Magritte. Clean digital manipulations, which can be mistaken with oils.

See more of this artist’s works here.

 

Meet The Artist: Joel Rea

Joel Rea, 32-year-old artist from Australia, works in an unusual genre, combining photorealism with surrealism.
He paints portraits and landscapes, animals and the ocean and it seems that there is no such theme on the basis of which he could not create his picture.Joel prefers to work with canvas and oil, perfecting every smallest detail.

“It is very easy to smile when you win, but for me the most interesting thing is exactly what people do in the darkest hours of their lives, because it is at such moments that you show up as a person,” says the artist.